Todd Pletcher

Sept. 27 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency HALF TO WHITMORE DEBUTS AT CHURCHILL 4th-CD, $75K, Msw, 2yo, 6f, 2:14p.m. Ron Moquett unveils a half-brother to his stable star Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) in SKIP INTRO (Liam's Map). The $190,000 KEESEP buy's talented older sibling has captured 10 graded events so far for earnings over $3.1-million. Juddmonte homebred Floriform (Into Mischief) also debuts in this test. The bay is out of MSP July Jasmine (Empire Maker), who is a half-sister to MGSW & MGISP Rob Roy (Lear Farn). TJCIS PPs   MOTT UNVEILS GODOLPHIN...

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Sept. 20 Insights

SUNDAY'S RACING INSIGHTS: By Christie DeBernardis Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency BROWN UNVEILS JUDDMONTE BLUE-BLOOD 3rd-BEL, $63K, Msw, 2yo, 6fT, 2:04 p.m. Juddmonte Farms homebred REALM OF LAW (War Front) makes his career bow in Elmont for trainer Chad Brown. The gray's dam is GSW & MGISP Filimbi (Mizzen Mast), who is a daughter of MGISW millionaire Flute (Seattle Slew). This is also the family of GISW Weep No More (Mineshaft) and GSW Current (Curlin). Todd Pletcher unveils another juvenile of intrigue in the Coolmore contingent's Fighting Force (Air Force...

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Sept. 19 Insights

SATURDAY'S RACING INSIGHTS: By Christie DeBernardis Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency WELL-BRED CURLIN COLT DEBUTS IN NY 6th-BEL, $63K, Msw, 2yo, 1m, 3:36 p.m. St. Elias Stable homebred KNOWN AGENDA (Curlin) makes his career bow in this spot for Todd Pletcher. The chestnut is out of GISW Byrama (GB) (Byron {GB}), who is a half-sister to GSW Klammer (GB) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}). He enters off a pair of bullet works, most recently covering a half-mile in a best-of-29 :48 2/5 on Saratoga's Oklahoma training track Sept. 14. His entry-mate...

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Sept. 18 Insights: Million-Dollar Baby Debuts at Belmont; Rachel Alexandra Full-Sis Unveiled at Gulfstream

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 1st-BEL, $63K, Msw, 6f, 2yo, f, 1:00 p.m. ET Shadwell Stable's ZAINALARAB (War Front) will get both her racing career and the Belmont fall meet underway Friday when facing five other juvenile fillies in this sprint. Bought for $1 million even at Keeneland September, the bay is the first foal out of GSW Delightful Joy (Tapit), a half-sister to GSW Cali Star (Street Cry {Ire}) and 113 Beyer-earning SW Seymourdini (Bernardini). Trained by Chad Brown, she shows a steady worktab going back to mid-July at...

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In an Unusual Year, Some Things Stay the Same at Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Even without spectators on the grounds, the 152nd summer of racing in Saratoga produced a total betting handle of $702.5 million that was remarkably close to last year's record figure of $705.3 million. The daily average handle for the 40-day meet in 2020 was $17.6 million and the daily average handle for the weather-shortened 39-day meet in 2019 was $18.1 million. The season concluded Monday as quietly as it began July 16, with a program conducted without fans, in compliance with New York State's COVID-19 protocols...

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‘TDN Rising Star’ Happy Saver Stays Perfect in Federico Tesio

'TDN Rising Star' Happy Saver (Super Saver) ran his record to a perfect three-for-three with a workmanlike success in Monday's Federico Tesio S. at Laurel. The 1-5 chalk was off well enough and took up an outside stalking role as Monday Morning Qb (Imagining) called the plays up front. Put to an all-out drive by Trevor McCarthy, the Wertheimer homebred took a few strides to hit his top gear, but he reeled in the pacesetter a furlong down and edged clear. An impressive debut winner on the Belmont S. undercard...

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Jackie’s Warrior Meets ‘Rising Star’ Pair in Hopeful

With the obvious caveat that anything can happen with 2-year-olds this early in their development--look no further than Sittin On Go (Brody's Cause)'s 24-1 upset in Saturday GII Iroquois S.--Monday's GI Runhappy Hopeful S. looks solidly like a three-horse affair, as arguably the three most impressive dirt juveniles of the meet will clash in the seven-furlong test. Made the fractional favorite on the morning line at 7-5, J. Kirk and Judy Robison's Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) looks formidable in his attempt for back-to-back Spa graded stakes scores. A first-out winner...

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Saturday’s Insights: Well-Bred Homebreds Debut

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 4th-Churchill Downs, Msw, 2yo, 6f, post time: 12:35 p.m. Mike Rutherford's homebred BIG LAKE (American Pharoah) debuts for trainer Steve Asmussen. The chestnut colt is the first foal out of Resistivity (Student Council), who was third in the 2014 GII Forward Gal S. Brad Cox saddles Godolphin firster Essential Quality (Tapit), a son of graded placed Delightful Quality (Elusive Quality). TJCS PPs 5th-Saratoga, $72k, Msw, 2yo, 7f, post time: 2:01 p.m. Shadwell Farm's homebred MUNQAD (War Front), a half-brother to GIII Gotham S. winner Shagaf...

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Tacitus Tackles Competitive Woodward

Five of the six runners slated to contest Saratoga's marquee handicap event--the GI Woodward S.--enter into Saturday's 10-furlong affair having won their latest starts. Heading the group is Juddmonte Farm's Tacitus (Tapit), who bounded home an easy 8 3/4-length winner in the 10-furlong Suburban July 4. For that race, trainer Bill Mott gave blinkers another try--even though an earlier equipment experiment failed to result in victory--and was duly rewarded. Last spring, the son of multiple Grade I-winning Close Hatches (First Defence) reeled off consecutive graded scores in the GII Tampa...

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Belmont Runner-up Dr Post Headlines Jim Dandy

Dr Post (Quality Road), a very respectable second behind Tiz the Law (Constitution) in the shortened GI Belmont S. June 20, will be the one to beat in Saturday's GII Jim Dandy S. at Saratoga after bypassing the GI Kentucky Derby. He followed his tenacious win while making his two-turn bow in Gulfstream's Unbridled S. Apr. 25 by finishing 3 3/4 lengths within the imposing Derby favorite in Elmont, then reported home third after falling a bit too far behind early in the GI TVG.com Haskell S. at Monmouth last...

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McPeek Filly Romps In Off-Turf P.G. Johnson, Becomes First Stakes Winner for Laoban

P. G. JOHNSON S., $93,000, Saratoga, 9-3, 2yo, f, 7f (off turf), 1:21.85, ft. 1--SIMPLY RAVISHING, 122, f, 2, by Laoban 1st Dam: Four Wishes, by More Than Ready 2nd Dam: Emilyna, by Valid Wager 3rd Dam: Piano Affect, by Fappiano ($50,000 Ylg '19 FTKOCT). 1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. O-Harold Lerner LLC, Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek) & Nehoc Stables; B-Meg Levy (NY); T-Kenneth G. McPeek; J-Luis Saez. $55,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $94,600. *First SW for freshman sire (by Uncle Mo). 2--Con Lima, 120, f, 2, Commissioner--Second Street City, by Consolidator. ($15,000...

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Basin Looks to Remain Perfect at the Spa

Basin (Liam's Map) is two-for-two at Saratoga so far in his young career and looks to extend that record and return to winning ways in the Spa's GII Amsterdam S. Saturday, which will be his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher. Previously trained by Steve Asmussen, the bay earned his diploma here at second asking last July and dominated the GI Runhappy Hopeful S. next out in September. Third to now-retired Grade I winner Nadal (Blame) in the GII Rebel S. in March, he was fourth in the nine-panel Oaklawn...

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